It WILL be an extra special Christmas for courageous Clitheroe girl Kate Taylor who has been selected to launch this year’s Cancer Research UK Little Star Awards.
The seven-year-old schoolgirl was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in February 2006 as a toddler.
The Pendle Primary School pupil had been unwell for weeks before her diagnosis, but her GP initially put it down to an infection.
When her symptoms worsened Kate was referred to the Royal Blackburn Hospital where the family were given the devastating news she had leukaemia.
Kate, who has an older sister Charlotte (12), was rushed to the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital where she immediately began chemotherapy.
The plucky youngster spent the next two years undergoing treatment. She is now doing well and has to return to hospital for six-monthly check ups only.
Despite everything she had to cope with, Kate attended nursery as often as possible during her treatment and in September 2010 started school.
Her proud mother, Carol (40) said: “Kate was so brave throughout her treatment. No matter how tough things got, she always continued to smile and never once felt sorry for herself.
“Having to spend so much time with Kate at hospital meant I was away from my eldest daughter Charlotte a lot which was hard for her. But she has been fantastic through it all and thankfully we have now returned to a normal family life.”
Kate received a Cancer Research UK Little Star award last year and her family is now urging other families across East Lancashire to nominate a child in the run-up to Christmas.
Cancer Research UK’s Little Star Awards, in partnership with TK Maxx, acknowledge the unique challenges faced by youngsters who encounter cancer and raise vital funds for research into the disease.
Every child nominated receives the accolade. There is no judging panel as the awards aim to highlight the courage of all children who face cancer.
Jane Bullock, Cancer Research UK’s spokeswoman in the North West, said: “Kate has been through such an awful lot at a young age and thoroughly deserves the Little Star award.
“We hope the courage of Kate and her family will inspire others to think of children like her and make a Little Star nomination.”
Siblings of Little Stars also receive a certificate in recognition of the support they give. Carol added: “Looking forward to 2012, Kate is working harder at school and enjoying it too. I am planning to fund-raise for the charity again by taking part in the Manchester 10k run in May and the three of us will be going to the Olympics in the summer!”
• To nominate a Little Star or donate visit the website at www.cancerresearchuk.org/littlestar. The awards are open to all under 18s who have cancer or have been treated for the disease in the past five years.